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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The demand for modern drybulk terminals on the Canadian west coast and some planning implications Mac Dougall, Donald Joseph


The increased scale of some operations, in certain industries, necessitates the input of very large quantities of raw materials. These are frequently far removed from the centres of processing—resulting in high transportation costs. It has been found that this increase in trade and in the scale of commodity movement has, during the past decade, lead to the introduction of the super bulk carrier. The study shows that the use of very large ships reduces transport costs significantly and at the same time provides industry with the size of shipment required for large scale operation. These dry bulk vessels involve a huge capital outlay and must move large quantities each year in order to turn a profit—the profitable use of these large vessels depends on a reduction in port time. Ship's time in port can be reduced by increasing the rate of loading. To increase the rate of materials handled it is necessary either to have a sufficient stockpile on hand or to supply the terminal at a rate which would allow continuous loading from the train to the ship. A transportation system utilizing large ships is examined; the components or sub-systems are identified and their individual requirements determined. It is shown that the introduction of super bulk carriers has necessitated changes in the design of terminal as well as in the inland transportation system. The cost of these changes, however, is more than offset by the savings resulting from the use of the super carriers and improvements in inland transportation. The study investigates world commodity trade, identifies those raw materials which are transported in bulk carriers, and isolates the commodities which move in sufficient quantities to allow the employment of super bulk carriers. Exports and imports through West Coast Canadian ports are examined to determine if the same or additional products could utilize these large vessels in the Canadian context. The study concludes that coal is the only commodity which will move through a British Columbia port consistently in super bulk carriers and that the destination will be Japan. It is also shown that after 1975 there will be a requirement for an additional bulk terminal berth and that a second berth will be required before 1985. Utilization of the new technology for the land and sea components has necessitated that new criteria be developed for the selection of marine terminal sites. The scale of new facilities in turn, has made the non-technical considerations of greater importance than in the past. The requirements for super bulk carriers are more stringent than for conventional ships. The study points out that, in the provision and operation of suitable facilities, conflicts can arise due to (a) the requirement for large amounts, up to 100 acres per berth, of level land, (b) maintenance of water depth in channel and at the berth may require dredging, (c) unit train operation causing noise disturbance and conflicts with surface transportation, and (d) the dust pollution problem. It is recommended that when new marine terminals are being considered that the non-technical effects be given consideration along with the economic and physical requirements.

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